OCD Awareness Week 2019

OCD New Jersey was involved in fully 4 different events located throughout the state during OCD Awareness week, October 13-19.  There were 3 different OCD Expert Panels, and one presentation to a psychology organization.

On Monday, October 14th, 26 community members attended the OCD New Jersey’s “OCD Awareness Week: Ask the Experts” panel at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Livingston.  As audience members enjoyed free pizza and salad, panelists Drs. Jordan Levy, Melissa Conway, Stacey Dobrinsky, and Zach Infantolino answered questions about OCD symptoms, treatment, and best practices.  Panelists emphasized that OCD treatment involves “doing what scares you, until it becomes boring,” and “embracing the uncertainty.”  Dr. Levy introduced the crowd to the analogy that OCD may “look like Hawaii,” in that core symptoms comprise the “big island,” while it is not uncommon to also have “little islands,” or smaller themes surrounding the primary concern.  Panelists also provided insight and support for parents expressing caregiving concerns, information about Exposure/Response Prevention treatment, and how medication use interfaces with OCD treatment.  Panelists stayed well beyond the allotted time to address individual questions and concerns, and many audience members exchanged contact information to provide one another with continued support.

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OCD NJ hosted “OCD Awareness Week: Ask the Experts” panel at Grillstone Restaurant in Old Bridge, New Jersey. The event was attended by over thirty individuals and moderated by Drs. Allen Weg, Rachel Strohl, Robert Zambrano, and Jennifer Kennedy. Audience members posed relevant and thoughtful questions, such as how to treat specific types of OCD, the role of medication in symptom management, and how therapy is modified for the child and adolescent populations. Panel members focused on disseminating accurate information about OCD treatment and symptoms for community members and mental health professionals alike. Additional topics included how to assist family members, friends, and significant others struggling with OCD. Audience members remained actively involved throughout the event and many remained after the allotted time to ask further questions of the panel members.

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On Wednesday, October 16th, OCD New Jersey, the New Jersey affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) hosted an “Ask the Experts” Q & A panel at the Cherry Hill Public Library in recognition of OCD Awareness Week. Panel members were Drs. Marla Deibler, Jennifer Gola, Phoebe Durland, Jacquelyn Gola and Mr. Paul T. They discussed the manifestation of OCD, co-occurring disorders, the nuances of effective treatment, and living successfully with the disorder. Support and resources available through IOCDF and OCD New Jersey were discussed as was finding specialized treatment.

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On Thursday, October 17th, OCD New Jersey President, Allen H Weg, EdD, presented to the Morris County Psychological Association at the College of St Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey.  His topic was, “Pediatric Treatment of OCD,” and it was attended by over 30 mental health professionals. In addition to disseminating information on assessment and treatment of childhood OCD and taking thoughtful questions from the attendees, Dr. Weg emphasized the work of OCDNJ and IOCDF, encouraging attendees to become more involved in these organizations.

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